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13) What's this 'To Die For' stuff? Or that creche? Or the high school?

TTR has a number of continuing threads independent of the main Doctor Who
multiverse. In this way, characters can be bashed together in unconventional
ways for whatever reason the authors feel are appropriate. Most of these
storylines have been concocted for one-off comedy pieces, but some have evolved
significantly and are practically series in their own rights.

It should also be noted that only changes Inside a character's original
continuity are permanent. Any other changes are optional (on the character's
part) - but there are a couple of things that appear to bend the rules, when it
comes to this.

Quite how that happens is still up in the air.

Anyway, on with the story arcs...


'To Die For' (aka Psycho Nyssa) :

(takes deep breath)

At this time TDF is the single largest ongoing-story in the TTR continuum. Its
genesis was a drabble (100-word story) by Erin B. Tumilty called 'Sadism', but
soon after a number of writers (including Douglas B. Killings, Bradley K.
Willis, and others) jumped on the bandwagon and hijacked the original concept
for their own evil ends.

And what is this evil concept?

Imagine Nyssa. (Ok guys, you can stop drooling). Now, imagine that beneath that
sweet, calm, prim and proper Trakenite demeanor is a suppressed, raving,
psychopathic, murderous loony, and you get the idea. Mix in the fact that she
seems to have a fixation for not only venting all of her rage at Adric but
doing so in the most inventive and creative ways she can dream up, and you have
the basic story of TDF.

Now add various factions of loony fans (the militant and very well armed Adric
Defence Force - the ADF; the inept and pathetic Wondrous and Adorable Nyssa's
Knights-Errant Regiment - WANKER); Adric's several non-DW friends (which
include Wesley Crusher and Lucas Wolenczek); various mysterious organisations
that watch everything very intently; a cadre of other evildoers such as
Catbert, Sherriff Lucas Buck, and the Spring-Water Drinking Man; and loads of
other crossovers that usually show up just to complicate matters; mix them all
in a blender, and you get some idea as to the complex mayhem this series has
reached.

And this STILL isn't all, because despite all of their protestations to the
contrary, it's slowly dawning on the two main combatants (Nyssa and Adric) that
there are some things neither of them are willing to publically admit to, and
that maybe (just maybe) their public actions have nothing to do with what they
REALLY think about each other....

If you've ever enjoyed anime SF/F romantic comedies like Ranma 1/2, Urusei
Yatsura, or Tenchi Muyo, you should immediately recognise along what lines TDF
is modelled. The series' two main writers (Douglas B. Killings and Bradley K.
Willis) are also big anime fans, and decided to import those conventions into
the universe of Doctor Who. TDF is also almost unique in DW fanfiction in that
it is one of the few series around that is generally sympathetic toward Adric
(as opposed to Adric-friendly _stories_, of which there are quite a number), a
fact which its writers are unashamedly proud of.

The TDF cycle is archived at http://www.ttrarchive.com/todiefor.html. (Who's computer is this?)

'Look Who's Talking', aka 'the creche', on the other hand, is _my_ (Imran
Inayat's) fault. Sorry. (Which means only I get to destroy it. Sorry...)

It's... (shuffles)... the day care centre outside continuity. Or the creche
outside continuity. It's where the baby versions of fictional characters can be
left.

Think 'Rugrats' crossed with 'Dexter's Laboratory'. Regress your favourite Who
character to toddlerdom. Then let them loose in a day care centre where all the
other toddlers are _also_ baby versions of their adult selves. Then let the day
care centre allow the toddlers to find, or build, virtually any weird gadget or
magic artifact imaginable (or unimaginable).

_Then_, watch the fireworks start....

To be honest, I have very little idea where it came from. Its genesis was an
aborted TTR fanfic of mine where the Eighth Doctor and his coterie of
companions got splashed by water from one of the Jusenkyou Curse springs
(familiar to 'Ranma 1/2' fans) - namely, Spring of Drowned Five-Year Old. It
somehow mutated into Look Who's Talking, the creche outside continuity. Then B.
K. Willis brought Psycho Nyssa in. And then came the jet-powered pushchair...
and the pirate TV station...

Here... the 'Who' babies can (and do) do virtually anything.

Rule the world, become the first toddlers to time travel, get their hands on
Excalibur, lead a break-in of the 'Round, fight over who gets the cookies...
_anything_.

(And you do _not_ want to go in the toybox... Then again, you don't wanna go in
the kitchen, either...)

It's run by the Supervisor, a man with a _very_ relaxed attitude towards his
job. We've never seen what would piss him off. Hopefully, we never will. As
long as the babies' parents collect them on time...

He's ably assisted by Izzy S, from the Eighth Doctor DWM strips. Izzy's the one
who deals with the toddlers most of the time - playing with them, pacifying
them, reading them stories, feeding them, giving them naptime, etcetera -
although sometimes, the Supervisor finds himself having to deal with the babies
personally...

Whilst Izzy spent some time off dealing with a personal crisis Inside, the
Supervisor cadged in two new - and very, very reluctant - assistant helpers to
help out: Kiyone, a Galaxy Police Officer First Class - and Mara, a /Demon/
First Class, both from anime-side.

Now, Izzy's back to deal with the toddlers - unfortunately for Kiyone and Mara,
however, they're not getting off that easily. They still have to deal with the
kids as well...

(The Look Who's Talking stories can be found at:
http://www.ttrarchive.com/lookwhostalking2.html. (Who's computer is this?) )

_Then_, we have 'Then Do That Over', the stories of the kids at H. G. Wells'
High School.

Being a school outside continuity, H. G. Wells is subject to restructuring
depending on who's writing it. One significant effect of this is that H. G.
Wells has two major iterations: in one, it's a British secondary school, while
in the other, it's an American high school. All the kids can be found in both
iterations.

Normally, in Reality, given the differences between the school systems, a
set-up like this would be impossible - but since H. G. Wells is outside
continuity, no-one particularly worries about it.

One odd thing that should be noted is that a lot, if not all, of the pupils
stay in their original year, year in, year out. Even more oddly, they don't
appear to age.

That doesn't mean they're _happy_ with this, though...

As regards the teachers: Barbara Wright and Evelyn Smythe have History,
Professor Chronotis does Future History, Rorvik, Fitz and Varne are the P.E.
Instructors, Mr Davros has Chemistry (another one Varne shares), Mr Borusa
takes English and Law, and the Brigadier and Magnus have Maths, with Magnus
also taking Physics and Basic Theoretical Magic (the Brigadier sometimes
substitutes for the History teachers, much to Evelyn's irritation).

Professor Azmael takes Temporal Physics and Combined Science, Sabalom Glitz
does Economics, Jessica Marlowe (from B. K. Willis's non-TTR story 'A Family
Affair') has English Literature, whilst Tara Maclay - late of 'Buffy the
Vampire Slayer' - and her counterpart from Paul Gadzikowski's imaginary TV
series 'St. Pudentiana the Fairy Bane', Gaia, take Basic Applied Magic,
Combined Magic, and PSE. Grace Holloway is the school doctor, a Mr Merlin is
school librarian, Maxil is Assistant Headmaster... and that's only the known
staff.

The position of Headmaster at H. G. Wells' needs some explanation. Headmaster
turnover at H. G. Wells' has reached legendary proportions, to the point where
none of the staff or students bother paying attention to who the Headmaster is,
since it's virtually certain they'll be gone by the end of the story.

Meanwhile, among the kids, Mike Yates is captain of the football team, Sarah
Jane Smith edits the school newspaper, ably asissted by sports reporter Harry
Sullivan, cub reporter Nyssaias the Light Muse, and tech-head Mel Bush, whilst
the Doctor and Master brothers are engaged in an ongoing rivalry - not
forgetting the school's very own super-being, a lunatic with a green squid-head
who calls herself the Mask...

Then there are the school clubs, which include Amish, Anime, German, Military
and Procastinators'. (There used to be a French Club, but it got taken over by
the German Club.)

'Then Do That Over' was originally created by Paul Gadzikowski, with additions
by B. K. Willis, Ken Young, Imran Inayat, and Vicky Jewitt.

The stories are archived at http://www.ttrarchive.com/thendothatover2.html. (Who's computer is this?)

Back in the 'Round, there's:

- Paul Gadzikowski's Peri arc, as Peri and the Doctor(s) found themselves
falling for each other... with the Valeyard trying to create trouble, as per
usual, and having it blow up in his face, also as per usual...

(the Peri Arc stories are archived at
http://www.ttrarchive.com/periarc2.html. (Who's computer is this?) )

- and the near-legendary MPT3K sequence by B. K. Willis. In an effort to 'cure'
Psycho Nyssa, Number One, and Doug & Diane, Adric's Timescooped them all to the
Satellite of Love, where Adric and Harry make them read bad fanfic (and the
occasional crazed rant). Francois has turned into _TV's_ Francois, the series
is a cable _hit_, Adric's making obscene amounts of money, Harry smiles
pleasantly (as he usually does...), the gorgeous Mistress Helen has found
herself trapped on the satellite as part of a sordid (and successful) plan to
keep the money rolling in...

...and our unlikely stars are, for some reason, as yet uncured. Can't think
why...

The MPT3K stories can be found at http://www.ttrarchive.com/msts.html. (Who's computer is this?)

Yep, other authors can use the concepts - you don't need our permission. (Keep
question 8 of the FAQ in mind, though.)

Oh, and don't forget... Karaoke Night at the 'Round just got resurrected. Be
very, very, careful...

(And, for the even _more_ cautious, Crossover Poker Night, usually on Fridays,
when crossovers are encouraged to show up, provided they can get past Polly's
watchful eye - which _wasn't_ usually that difficult...)


14) Where do I _find_ the TTR stories?

The main TTR archive can be found at http://www.ttrarchive.com/, (Who's computer is this?) which archives
most of the TTR stories out there.

New TTR stories are posted to alt.drwho.creative.

(current running total: 730 complete stories, round robins and filks, 8
incomplete.)


15) Which TTR stories should I read first, to get a hang of the place?

Mmm. Try Tyler Dion's 'A Quiet Night Out', or Erin Tumilty's trilogy of
'Sadism' drabbles, to start off with. Then... well, see where it goes from
there...

For a further introduction to the To Die For sequence, try 'Red Tape Blues', by
Bradley Keith Willis, and 'Friendly Advice', by Douglas B. Killings.

If you'd like to take a look at the Then Do That Over stories, try Paul
Gadzikowski's 'Then Do That Over' or B. K. Willis's 'She Talks To Rainbows'.

For a general introduction to LWT, try 'You Have _Got_ To Be Kidding', by Imran
Inayat. For those familiar with the TDF conventions, try 'Look Who's Stalking',
by B. K. Willis.


16) Are there any equivalents to the 'Round in other continuities?

This /can/ get a little complex, mainly because there's a difference between
those created in other continuities, and those created as part of the 'Round's
continuity.

A few subverses have been mentioned in the TTR stories, six of which were
created in the 'Round's continuity. Those six include:

- The Pro-Fun Party, a pocket subverse devoted to pro-fun. It's centred around
the pro-fun trolls' TARDIS, based somewhere in southeastern Virginia.

There's an annual party each year - it usually begins around May or June, and
has, to date, been hosted by Eloise, the first pro-fun troll to come out of
hiding. Characters from a *lot* of subverses have ended up at the Hoedown.

There've been four parties so far, and each time, the would-be partiers have
ended up saving at least one Universe...

(The first annual party, 'Chaos in Cyberspace', can be found at
http://profun.roundrobins.info/2000/. (Who's computer is this?)

The second party, 'The Time The Stories Went Dark', can be found at
http://curry.250x.com/HoedownII/. (Who's computer is this?)

The third, 'Goodnight, Sweetheart', can be found at
http://narm00.tripod.com/h3.html. (Who's computer is this?)

The fourth, 'Reflections of Reality', can be found at
http://profun.roundrobins.info/2003/. (Who's computer is this?)

Alternatively, all four can be found, sans additional resources, at
http://www.ttrarchive.com/roundrobins.html. (Who's computer is this?)

Created by Ann Magill, Eloise's alter ego - or is that the other way
around...?)

- Otherside, home to the 'Round's sinister counterpart, Some Other Time Round.
Events there go in a ...darker direction... than the 'Round.

Everyone in the 'Round has a counterpart in Otherside. Most are darker, a few
are brighter, and some are about the same - but the darker turn of events
leaves its mark on all of them.

Contact between the two 'Rounds is limited, but there's at least one known PLOT
Hole linking the two - in both universes, it's situated at the top of the hill
opposite the pub.

The SOTR stories currently lurk at
http://www.ttrarchive.com/someothertimeround.html. (Who's computer is this?)

Originally created by K. M. Wilcox.

- Toonside, home to the 'Round's /animated/ counterpart, This Toon Round. Where
This Time Round is focused on 'Doctor Who', however, the 'Toon is focused on
British animation (and claymation), and has become home to a good number of
British 'toons.

The 'Toon also has equivalents to all the settings in the 'Round - including an
Othertoonside, with equivalents to all the settings /Toonside/.

And since Otherside rapidly spawns its /own/ equivalents to the 'Round's
settings... um...

Created by Daibhid Ceannaideach and Imran Inayat.

- Flipside, home to the 'Round's genderflipped equivalent, Yet Another Time
Round. If they're female in the 'Round, they're male in YATR, and vice versa.

Much like Otherside, Flipside has its own analogues to the 'Round's settings.
Thinking about this for too long can be brain-bending.

Created by Daibhid Ceannaideach.

- Fantasy Island is a holiday resort subverse for the characters from every
/other/ subverse, whenever they need to take a break.

Narrative causality here tends towards giving tourists a happy - or at the very
least /interesting/ - holiday.

The original chronicles can be found at
http://www.ttrarchive.com/fantasyisland2.html. (Who's computer is this?)

Originally created by Imran Inayat.

- In at least one timeline, the Outsiders failed to stop the Dark Carnival.

As a result, the 'Round is a burned-out shell, the Doctors are priests to a mad
god, a god hungry for sacrifices...

...and the little town of Nameless has been renamed Tribulation.

Originally created by Joel Davies.

Then there are the settings created outside the 'Round's loose framework.

For this, I need to establish some historical background.

Metafictive setups like TTR - where it's possible to meet characters from
multiple stories, or have them meet, regardless of whether or not said
characters are aware of their fictional status - have a long history,
stretching back into the Victorian era at least (the 1872 novel 'Kennaquhair, A
Narrative of Utopian Travel', by one 'Theopholis M'Crib' (pseudonym), is
perhaps the earliest known). Among their number are such stories as John
Kendrick Bangs' 'House-Boat On The Styx' series (1895-1901), Walter de la
Mare's 'Henry Brocken' (1904), L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt's series
'The Incompleat Enchanter' (1940-1953, available in single-volume form under
the title 'The Compleat Enchanter'), John Myers Myers's 'Silverlock' (1949),
Poul Anderson's tales of the Old Phoenix inn (1974-?2001), Marvin Kaye's 'The
Incredible Umbrella' (1979), the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde
(2001-present), the 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' graphic novels by Alan
Moore (2000, 2003), and the film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' (1988)

(Two of the three 'House-Boat On The Styx' novels are available for download as
free etexts. It should be noted that the fictional characters only show up in
'Pursuit' - 'House-Boat' sticks to historical characters.

('A House-Boat On The Styx' can be downloaded at
http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/2618. (Who's computer is this?)

('The Pursuit Of The House-Boat' can be downloaded at
http://www.gutenberg.net/etext/3169. (Who's computer is this?) )

The catch with most officially produced metafictive settings, though, is that
the range of characters and places they can draw upon is limited by copyright
legislation - that is, they can't use anything presently copyrighted without
permission. Failing that permission, they're limited to works of fiction where
the copyright has lapsed, or was never given, which usually means fiction from
the 1920s or before. (Toontown, in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?', is an example
where they _did_ get permission to use copyrighted characters.)

Fanfiction, however, has had a far looser relationship with copyright
legislation, bounded mainly by how far the copyright holders are willing to
tolerate works of fiction based on the copyright they hold. It also has a
history as long - if not longer - than metafictive settings; for example, there
were Sherlock Holmes pastiches, parodies, and knock-offs almost from the time
the Great Detective first appeared.

(And then there's the case of 'Don Quixote', where Cervantes found another
author had knocked off a sequel to the first volume before he'd started writing
the second.

(What Cervantes did, in retrospect, was something many authors could empathise
with - he wrote the publication of the knock-off into the second volume, and
had his narrator comment on it.)

I have no evidence for this next, but I suspect that metafictive settings -
places where characters from different works of fiction could meet - turned up
in fanworks for much of the twentieth century.

Certainly they showed up in computer BBSs, the predecessors to present-day
newsgroups and webforums; again, I have no evidence for this, but I suspect
this is where the idea of shared-world metafictive settings may have first
appeared, as communication between authors became easier and fanfiction could
reach a wider audience.

The proliferation of the Net in the 1990s saw fanfiction establish a solid
presence on the Web - and with it came the metafictive settings. They aren't
nearly as prevalent as the amount of slash fanfic, but still, they _do_ have a
presence.

Among the more notable are:

- Kielle's Subreality Cafe, located in Subreality, the borderland between
Imagination and Reality (at http://www.subreality.com/sc.htm (Who's computer is this?) ) - and the
inspiration for This Time Round.

Subreality's home to the comic characters - fanfic and mainstream - and to
Calliope's Muses, now the Muses of creative writing (who get trained in the
Collegium Imaginarium).

The rules there are _not_ the TTR rules. Read Kielle's FAQ to get an idea of
what you're getting yourself into.

Discovered by the Scribe Kielle.

- Nerima Ward and the surrounding area, centred around Ucchan's Okonomiyaki
Restaurant (a fixture from 'Ranma 1/2'). The anime/manga subverse, where the
laws of anime apply... and given the many genres that slot under that label,
things can get very, *very* interesting... (Apparently, this was created
separately as its own unique thing - if someone could point me to an URL for
stories here set independent of adwc, I'd be grateful.)

- The Official Fanfiction Universities.

The explosion of 'Lord of the Rings' fanfic in the wake of Peter Jackson's epic
movie trilogy also saw a commesurate increase in _bad_ LotR fanfic.

So Camilla Sandman, aka Miss Cam, created the Official Fanfiction University of
Middle-Earth, a combination story/setting/workshop, where the canon characters
teach fanfic writers how to write good fanfic (or at least less painful fic).

From there, Official Fanfiction Universities have sprung up in many and various
fandoms; however, as of yet, there is no 'Doctor Who' equivalent.

The OFUs have a webpage at http://www.misssandman.com/LOTR/ofum.html (Who's computer is this?)

- The PPC (Protectors of the Plot Continuum)

Okay. Above, I mentioned the amount of bad fanfic that swamped 'Lord of the
Rings'. With that also came a disturbing number of Mary-Sues ('perfect'
self-insert characters).

Now, self-inserts _can_ be written well, can be written as complex characters.
The trouble is that Mary-Sues, in the main, are largely written by newbie
writers, (who, in some cases, appear to be new to writing _period_), and
usually turn out to be rather /too/ perfect for anyone's good.

The PPC were created to take out badfic Mary-Sues. They enter the badfic, take
out the Mary-Sue, and hopefully restore the setting and characters to
approximate normality.

Like the OFUs, the PPC have spread to various other fandoms, including Doctor
Who/Torchwood.

A good point to start is http://www.misssandman.com/PPC/ppc.html; (Who's computer is this?) failing that,
http://www.oddlots.digitalspace.net/PPC (Who's computer is this?) is a good alternative.

http://members.home.nl/indemaat/ppcindex.html (Who's computer is this?) is the home of the Doctor
Who/Torchwood division.

Created by Jay and Acacia.

- Arisugawa's Locket is a single-author metafictive setting, created and
written by Shanejayell, which focuses on lesbian anime only. The bar is run by
Juri Arsugawa, of 'Revolutionary Girl Utena'.

It can be found at http://www.shoujoai.com/fanfics/utena/locket/ (Who's computer is this?)

- Club Anipike, created by Nightbreak, and run by Mitsao Katsuragi; mainly
written by Nightbreak, with a small number of spinoffs. Webpage:
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Rampart/3552/fics.html. (Who's computer is this?)


Most of the other equivalents (that I know of) are set in Subreality (if you
know of others elsewhere, let me know) - and are comparatively smaller than the
settings above (that is, there are about three or four stories for them),
including ones for both Buffy and ReBoot, as well as a few you might not
expect.

The concept of a metafictive setting isn't limited by setting or plot: I know
of at least one themed bar on rec.arts.anime.creative, for which so far only
one story exists - Erica Friedman's 'Ladies' Night at the Chained Heart', set
in the Chained Heart, a bar for anime characters with unrequited love
interests, which's run by Princess Ayeka of Jurai, with Ryoko, her rival, as
bartender (both of 'Tenchi Muyo!').

The story can be found at
http://www.shoujoai.com/fanfics/?series=tenchi&fanfic=ladynite&parte=1 (Who's computer is this?)
--

End

--




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